Category Archives: Jill McDonald

Just a bookmark!

A lovely little acquisition – from a very enthusiastic ex-puffineer clearing the decks on eBay. But a beautiful example of Jill McDonalds work. So many of the best pieces of her work are throw-away items like this. A real pleasure to restore.

The back of the original has a list of reading favorites written on it. It’s fascinating to see what someone else saw as vital reading before we had the interweb and cable telly.

Puffin Post Vol.2 No.3

A seriously overdue restoration – and a blinder! For those of you who don’t know the Happy Lion books (rather quirkily translated from the French), Jill’s artwork is a very faithfull copy of the style.
By this point, I think she had really got into the swing of the covers. The first time I saw this cover I thought it was enchanting – my kids have said the same.

A big apology for all of you who follow this blog – I have literally been working round the clock on other projects, and something had to give! I will do my best to bring you some new things soon.

Puffin Post Vol.13 No.3

Slightly out of season, but fun none-the-less.

Featuring a short story by Leon Garfield, and in depth guide on how a book is published by Felicity Trotman, a centre spread on mask making, a profile of author Dorothy Crayder, a charming piece by Violet Bibby on finding Treasure (stories) from the past and photos from two forthcoming adaptations – Southern TV’s ‘The Ravelled Thread’ and BBC TV’s ‘The Enchanted Castle’.

Not a bad little collection!

Puffin Post Vol.8 no.4

Another amazing Quentin Blake cover – you will probably have seen this one as part of the publicity for the new club. It’s certainly a vivid piece of work, and again, one of my favourites.

Slightly drier content in this one! A historical story by Barbara Willard entitled ‘Save England!’, a story ‘The Siege of Trapp’s Mill’ by Annabel Farjeon, A piece about the author John Masefield (The Midnight Folk etc.), and a more adventurous tale by Peter Dickinson -‘Up and Beyond’.

Jill McDonald has two nice scale pieces – Part 6 of Odways ‘Tales of the Golden Fleas’ and a short-lived character ‘McDonald McDonald’ – the arch detector of useless (but fascinating) information.

Puffin Post Vol.11 no.1

A great one for anniversary fever! This issue included a brief history of the club up till that point as well as Jill McDonalds memories of drawing Fat Puffin (previously posted). Also included was a short birthday story by Elisabeth Beresford, a piece about Ponies by Flambards author Kathleen Peyton and an interview with Jan Pienkowski.

Bundled in with the magazine was the 10th Birthday Exhibition announcement with a special board game called ‘Swoop’ designed by Merlin Southwell printed on the back – not many have survived!

Long time, no blog…

Hello Puffin Bloggers – sorry to have been away for so long, I’m afraid my other work has been taking all of my attention lately. Goodness know what I’ll do if it really takes off!

Anywho, here is a little restoration that I’ve been working on: The Puffin Readers Diary 1979!

This delightful cover was not very good at keeping its Gold and Green foil intact – mine was very worn. I hope that other owners of this little work of art allow me the license of approximating the look of the complete foil image. This is one of my favourite Jill McDonald ephemeral images.

I now have a cache of scans to work through, so I hope to resume normal service.

Puffin Cake?

I admit this isn’t an original Jill McDonald work – it’s mine! My youngest daughter just turned six and requested a Puffin cake! (I don’t know where she gets it from!) My freehand icing isn’t the greatest, but here is my attempt based on the badge design by Jill.*

One nice consequence of doing this was discovering that the parent of one of her friends was also a member of the Puffin Club – now a teacher!

I was also contacted by another founder member who had come across this site – sadly she only had one letter from another member on club stationary as a memento. She also has a polaroid of her as a child in her bedroom with one of the (now very) rare Puffin Bookcases. These were a short run item that could be bought at selected Puffin outlets around the country. As far as I have been able to find out, these are excessively difficult to find as they tended to get thrown out when the Puffin books were outgrown – or didn’t survive moves.

I’m sure there are some still out there in varying states of repair – hold on to them! They are going to increase in value.

After careful consideration (despite asking permission), I have chosen not to post the picture, as I feel it would be inappropriate. I will locate one of the photos that were taken for Puffin Post as this shows it very clearly.

*I have removed my daughters name electronically for her protection!

Another successful restoration…Puffin Mugs!

This is something I have wanted to do for a while!

My lovely puffin mug (the one on the right) that was accidentally smashed by my eldest when she was little (the restored graphic was one of my first postings!) and then stuck together with sellotape and modeling resin has been useless for anything other than storing bits and pieces – until now!

My youngest is quite taken with the whole ‘Puffin Thing’ and loves Fat Puffin, asked if she could make a different coloured image – easy on most image manipulation software – and then asked for a mug for her birthday. I finally sent both image files to the nice people at who did a sterling job, turning it around in 48 hours!!

So I had the pleasure of drinking my tea from a treasured classic – as did my youngest!

Thanks Guys!

Please don’t ask me to make these up for any of you! The copyright issues are hideous!!